Federal Harbor in Cobscook Bay

44° 51′ 47″N , 67° 3′ 31″W

Eastport and Lubec, ME

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Photo: Federal Harbor viewed from outside the entrance – by Mark Lenci

If you have gotten as far east as Eastport and are looking for remoteness and solitude — a place where you’ll be entirely on your own (and if you’d prefer not to clear into Canada) — Federal Harbor is the place for you.

Approach & Cautions

Photo: Courtesy of Ben Ellison

Due west of Eastport lies a small inland sea, Cobscook Bay, with few houses and few lobster pots or boats. Farthest west are Whiting Bay Inlet and Dennys Bay Inlet – they require transiting reversing falls, with currents up to 15 knots ‒ we’ll leave them to others “braver” than we.

Between Eastport and the reversing falls is Cobscook Bay and, at its southern extremity, South Bay; therein is found Federal Harbor. The current between Eastport and Federal Harbor is at most 2 to 3 knots, so timing your passage to Federal on the flood and back to Eastport on the ebb provides a very nice lift in each direction.

The ruins of a wooden boat rests on the shore of a scenic harbor.

The entrance to Federal Harbor is between Hog Island to the north and Long Island to the south (see Lat/Lon at top of this page). Upon reaching that waypoint, the “harbor” – actually a long inlet – opens up before you.

Click the chart to open Navionics.

Not to be used for Navigation.

Docking, Anchorages, or Moorings

Pick your spot in 20 feet or less at low tide, paying careful attention to the substantial tidal rise and fall and shallow areas near shore. You’ll be on your own.

Getting Ashore

Photo: Cove at high tide by Roban Kramer

With the huge tidal rise and fall in this area, getting ashore can be precarious. Pick your spot carefully and use a long painter or anchor line depending on the expected state of the tide.


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